Showing posts from September, 2009

Retro Fitting

Tomorrow my machine is traveling to Gammill headquarters in West Plains, MO to be retro fitted to a Plus machine!  I'm so excited. I've worked with this machine for over 7 years without a stitch regulator, but the more I work, the more I realize how helpful a stitch-regulator will be.

So here is the last photo of my machine in it's old life. It will come back home with a whole new look! You can see my screw driver laying on the table ready to remove parts that don't need to make the trip.

This is a block on the machine that I've stabilized by SID around the blocks and borders. I've also quilted the design in the outer border, but haven't gotten any further. It will be the first quilt to be completed with the new stitch regulator. Stitching around those flowers, leaves and stems should be a lot easier with the stitch regulator. The quilt is coming off the machine tonight so we can get the head loaded into the van for it's trip tomorrow.

Sampler Quilts

I recently finished a sampler quilt for a customer where I used a variety of different designs. Each block has at least one quilting design that is the same as the other blocks in order to keep some continuity throughout the quilt. The overall look however gives variety.

A spin feather quilted in the center squares, line dancing and feather plumes all added continuity.

The sashing around each block was quilting with diamond shapes. The setting triangles and corner triangles had the same feather quilted into them.

Some straight-line quilting was used to accent some blocks.

Fun, fun, fun!

Quilting Technology

Networking with quilters through the internet has brought to light information, techniques and tools of the trade that I would never have discovered on my own. The past few days I have taken advantage of two of these tools or sources to aid in my own quilting.

First is DigiTech. The majority of my work is freehand - custom and heirloom quilting. I rarely use pantographs, but when I do need one I often need it "NOW" and don't have time to wait for the panto to be shipped to me. Designing my own pantos isn't always successful. DigiTech has been recommended by other quilters and yesterday I took a look and purchased a panto by download. I don't have a computerized longarm machine, so I purchased the panto in pdf format. Love it! So quick, easy to download, and I had the panto right there on my computer to print off and ready to quilt. They have so many pantos to chose from that the hardest part of the process was chosing the one I liked best. They even have a few fr…

Turning 20 Questions Answered

Thanks to Barb and Christine for their comments on the quilting on the Turning 20 quilt. Christine also asked me some questions about the quilting that I thought I would answer today.

I did use a circle template for the half circles in the border. It's 7" in diameter. I quilted the circles first, then the flowers.

My bobbin tension registered between 160 and 180 on the TOWA gauge, and I had the quilt sandwich a bit on the loose side. It wasn't sagging on the frame, but I tightened it like I usually do, then backed off by 2 teeth on the take up roller. This is my usual set up for quilts made of batik fabrics like this one was. I also used a #18 needle (MR 4.0).

The backing fabric was a piece of commercial hand-dye fabric - not batik - so that made the quilting easier.

Turning 20

The quilting is completed on the Turning 20 quilt. The customer wanted something soft - not geometric - with a coordinating border treatment.

I quilted a feather and floral meander in the body of the quilt.

The outer border has a floral design with feathers.

More feathers in the inner border. Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom batting with Signature cotton in Seascape used throughout the quilt.

Zipper Leaders

I was asked a question about the fabric I used in the zipper leaders I made for my machine. I used canvas duck purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. They have a website  Enter "canvas duck" in their search box and it comes up in several colors for $7.99/yard.

Completed Log Cabin

I finished the log cabin quilt on Wednesday. Here is a photo of the feather wreath.

You can see the McTavishing background in the photo below. I made it larger than I do for heirloom and wholecloth quilts so as not to distort the quilt.

This photo shows the borders. The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 with Signature Cotton thread in Parchment and Mustard.

Today I'm working on a Turning 20 Quilt with freehand flowers.


Here are photos of some of the flowers I took on our nature walk on Saturday.

First is a thistle. DH wondered why I wanted to photograph a plant that is a problem to farmers. Being raised on a farm doesn't care much for thistles, but I like the color and texture of the blossoms.

Then there were thousands of these yellow daisies.

Milkweed was also abundant in the conservation area. Then there were flowers that I can't identify but thought were pretty. This one lookes like a pansy only it's trumpet shaped. These tiny flowers grew in clusters on a bush. I know they are common around here, but I can't think of the name. These flowers were planted in front of the nature center building. These tiny trumpet shaped flowers were very delicate looking.

Nature Walk

First of all I want to say thank you to those who have posted positive comments about my blog. I do appreciate it. I know my blog doesn't appeal to everyone, and it wasn't meant to. The fact that I put a "Boring" option on the response section was my choice. I didn't realize until people started checking it that it wasn't beneficial since it doesn't give them a place to tell me what they felt was boring. I'm not planning on changing what I post about anyway, so the response option wasn't needed.

Now to things that are more fun! DH and I took our girls to the local nature center as DH #2 wanted to see frogs. Found one! We also found a turtle. And a bee on a stem of goldenrod. Autumn is definately making itself known, but there are still lots of wildflowers blooming. I'll post photos of them tomorrow.


My new design wall is in working order. I pinned up the Southwest wallhanging I've been working on to keep it in my line of vision while I'm quilting at the machine. It still has the zippered leaders attached to it so it will be quick to reload onto the machine when I find the time to work on it. I've made a few changes to my blog. I have a new background and I've deleted a few things from the side bar for one. I also removed the "response" option below the posts. Evidently my posts have been boring someone recently and they've been letting me know about it. But I realized that wasn't helpful because I have no idea what they feel is boring! Instead of changing the options, I just deleted it completely. Now if my posts bore you, write me a comment and tell me what it is that bores you - the topic, the photos, etc.

Here are some fabrics I bought a few weeks ago to make a wallhanging sample for our local quilt shop. I haven't found the time to work on…

Elegant Log Cabin

This is the quilt I am currently working on. It is a Log Cabin made with very elegant cream and gold fabrics. This customer usually goes for bright colors, but wanted something different for her bedroom this time around.

I've quilted a circle centered in one of the blocks in this photo.

You can see the backing fabric here. Lovely!

I'm quilting feather wreaths in each block and a feather swag in the outer border with a different treatment in the inner gold border - haven't decided what just yet. Then the background filler will be McTavishing.

Just Hanging Around

This little guy has been hanging around our front door this past week. He is actually a rather large Praying Mantis and he's fascinated our youngest DD. So he had to have his photo taken.

Here's his "head shot". He reminds me of some of those creatures from the older "Sci-fi" movies. I wonder if these insects are what inspired them.

Design Wall

With the drywall up and the walls painted, I finally got a design wall up that is stable and usable for larger quilts. I made it out of 1/2" thick foam board insulation and secured it to the wall with screws and washers. It's 8 feet wide by 7 feet long. I had to trim a foot off of one of the pieces of insulation in order to get it to fit. My walls are only 7 feet high.

I'm still reorganizing the quilting space, but it's coming along nicely.

Early Fall

The first of September in Missouri is usually still very warm. This year, however, fall seems to be arriving early. It has been cool - in the 70's during the day - for a week now. Last night it got down into the 40's!

Our cottonwood trees in the backyard are changing. The leaves turn yellow for a day or 2 then fall off, so we don't get much show from them. Our red maple in the front yard, however will turn a beautiful red shade and hang on to the leaves for much longer. It really dresses up the property. This is a photo of our maple tree last fall. This tree is still very green right now, but it won't be long until it's showing off all it's beauty.

On the quilty side of life - I finished a customer quilt yesterday. This is one of 2 quilts for a customer. My supplier notified me that the panto that was on backorder for the 2nd quilt has been shipped. It seems that Christmas panto's being on backorder isn't rare. I've ordered 3 from 2 different companie…

Designing by Computer

There is a lot to be said for computer design work. Unfortunately, I'm not well versed in the process. I have an older version of QuiltPro that I can design blocks and quilts from, but rarely have time to use it, nor do I make tradition quilts very often. Most of my personal quilting is wholecloth or landscape/art quilts.

Here a 3 different landscape designs that I attempted using the Paint program on my computer. I got the inspiration from several photos I had taken at my brother's property. He has 30 or so beautiful wooded acres.
I took artistic license in these designs and put in some water as well as making the hills a bit more "mountain-ish". There are a lot more trees on the property than I have included in these computer designs, too.

Whether any of these designs will make their way into a quilt is still to be determined. It was fun messing around with designing landscapes on the computer, though.